You can end corruption in SA, Zille tells voters

South African voters have the power to stand up against corrupt government officials who abuse their positions of power, Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille said on Tuesday.

“When people in South Africa today see all the corruption and power abuse and lack of delivery, they get angry and feel powerless,” Zille said during her Freedom Day speech at the Constitutional Court.

“When this happens, we must remember April 27 1994, and remember that we are not powerless.

“We have the vote,” she said.

“If we don’t use our vote to change the people in power, there will be more and more abuse, and more and more corruption, and we will become a criminal state.”

Zille criticised the African National Congress and President Jacob Zuma, saying they were not made accountable for their actions.

“He [Zuma] has undermined the Constitution to make sure he does not have to go to court and answer to over 700 counts of corruption against him,” Zille said.

“He abuses power to protect his friends, like Schabir Shaik, from the law, while persecuting his political opponents.

“He supports a system in which the ANC uses the people’s money to make themselves rich, that is what is happening at Eskom.

“When you pay your increased electricity tariffs, it will be a reminder of what the ANC’s corruption is costing you.”

Using the demise of democracy in Zimbabwe as an example, Zille urged South Africans to use their vote to “get rid of a government that undermines the Constitution”.

“Let us remember this lesson on this Freedom Day: in a democracy, people get the government they deserve. We certainly deserve better than the ANC,” Zille said.

Apartheid laws
Meanwhile, apartheid laws, like the Group Areas Act, may have disappeared from the statute books but their effects lingered, Zuma said on Tuesday.

“Our people still have to daily confront the impact of the law,” Zuma said in Pretoria.

Addressing thousands of people gathered at the Union Buildings for Freedom Day celebrations, he said the Act — which marked the institutionalising of racial partitioning of cities and towns — was still in existence 20 years after it was repealed.

“Many still live in areas once designated for black people … away from economic opportunities and civic services,” he said.

“Freedom imposes on us a responsibility to work together in the process of changing such conditions.”

Zuma highlighted that the cost of transport alone took a heavy toll on the lives of the poor.

This was one example among many others which Zuma said needed to be addressed to ensure that people “enjoy[ed] the fruits of freedom” . — Sapa

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Institutions of higher learning should commemorate their casualties

The bust of Matikweni Nkuna at Tshwane University of Technology is an example of how we should honour those who fought for equal access to education

Seals abort pups in mass die-off

There are a number of factors — a pollutant, virus or bacteria or malnutrition — that may have caused the 12 000 deaths on Namibia’s coast.

Deconstructing South Africa’s construction industry performance

The construction industry has contracted sharply, partly due to Covid, and needs to rebalance its focus if it wants to survive

Editorial: SA will be bankrupted by looters

The chickens have finally come home to roost: if we do not end the looting, it will end us

Zuma vs Ramaphosa? Neither is the leader South Africans deserve

Neither statesman could command sufficient authority in an ANC that remains mired in corruption and infighting and at the behest of big capital

E-payments for the unbanked are booming

The pandemic is providing mobile phone network operators with a unique chance to partner with fintech firms and banks to deliver clever e-commerce solutions to the informal sector in Africa

Subscribers only

Toxic power struggle hits public works

With infighting and allegations of corruption and poor planning, the department’s top management looks like a scene from ‘Survivor’

Free State branches gun for Ace

Parts of the provincial ANC will target their former premier, Magashule, and the Free State PEC in a rolling mass action campaign

More top stories

Durban city manager says NPA erred in his bail conditions

The corruption-fraught metro is coming to grips with having a municipal manager who is on bail for graft, yet has returned to work

Why anti-corruption campaigns are bad for democracy

Such campaigns can draw attention to the widespread presence of the very behaviour they are trying to stamp out — and subconsciously encourage people to view it as appropriate

Tax, wage bill, debt, pandemic: Mboweni’s tightrope budget policy statement

The finance minister has to close the jaws of the hippo and he’s likely to do this by tightening the country’s belt, again.

SA justice delays extradition of paedophile to UK

Efforts to bring Lee Nigel Tucker to justice have spanned 16 years and his alleged victims have waited for 30 years

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday